Eagle Optics at the Great Texas Birding Classic

On Sunday, I participated in the Great Texas Birding Classic's Bit Sit competition. If you are wondering what exactly is a "big sit", I recommend you check out this YouTube video by Bill Thompson and Eagle Optics.

Our Big Sit site was at the South Padre Island Convention Center. It was a windy day with few migrants but we had a fantastic time, spoke with lots of birders, and saw quite a few birds in the process.

Team member Michael O'Brien scouts for shorebirds from a ladder perched against our modest shelter for the day. Michael literally wrote the book on shorebirds, so if anyone was up to the task it was him. Fellow shorebird author Richard Crossley also joined us for a bit, so I felt we were in exceptionally good hands.

Here is an overview of our site. We had excellent views of multiple habitats from this spot. The ladder, contributed by Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival President Danny Hoehne, allowed us to get some long views that added significant numbers of species to our list for the day.

Here's a team photo (left to right): me, Terry Fuller, Marci Fuller, Susan Hoehne, Danny Hoehne, Micheal O'Brien, and Louise Zemaitis. Louise is another amazing birder and bird artist. I feel so grateful to have been part of such a collective wealth of talent on this team.
We ended the day with a respectable 98 species on our list. Very well considering the windy conditions which blew most all the smaller migrants right past the island on their way north.
This Blackpoll Warbler was one of 4 warblers we had on Sunday.

The boardwalk at the convention center allowed excellent close-up looks at rails, waders, and shorebirds, including this Short-billed Dowitcher.

Wind-blown, Tri-colored Heron.

Yellow Warbler.

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